A POTENTIAL data leak of personal information has taken place at an Isle of Wight Primary School.

Haylands Primary School in Ryde said they had become aware of a malware virus affecting their IT systems on March 18. Upon investigation they realised there had been unauthorised log-ins to the school server.

In a letter to parents, headteacher Lisa Nicholson said she could not rule out the possibility that personal information — including names, dates of birth, addresses and general school records — had been accessed.

Ms Nicholson said: "Please be assured we have shut down the avenue for access for the unauthorised log-ins and have removed any malware on the system.

"We have taken the necessary security steps to prevent similar unauthorised access in the future."

The police have been informed and are investigating and the school has self-reported to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The school said it did not believe this event would have any impact upon parents or pupils.

Ms Nicholson said: "There is little more that we can add while the police investigation is ongoing, other than to say it is very sad that a primary school should be cyber attacked in this way."

Updated 5pm

A police spokesperson said: "We can confirm that we are investigating a report of a malware attack on computer equipment at Haylands primary school in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

"This was reported to us on March 19, and is believed to have happened earlier that day. The majority of files that were reported to have been encrypted have been recovered through back-ups.

"Enquiries are ongoing to establish: what happened, the extent of the attack, and any traces that can assist in identifying those responsible. The affected computer equipment will be reviewed as part of this investigation.

"For any parents or staff concerned about this incident, and who wish to educate themselves on how to stay secure in a digital world, please visit the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit’s website for further information."

Updated Friday 12pm

An ICO spokesperson said: “We have received a report from Haylands Primary School and we will assess the information provided.”

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